hey if anyone knows anything about what pliers to get if you are making chainmail please let me know- my little brother is turning 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I want to get him a pair for his birthday but I have no idea if I should get him two of the same or one bigger or which brands are good/bad things like that. I have no idea. I even asked COELASQUID (which I was nervous about because she can be very ornery about certain attitudes so I hope I didn’t irritate her I love her) because her dad is crazy good at making chainmail. That’s the ONLY person I know that has anything to do with chainmail!!
Hi, I saw your ask on Coelasquid’s page and thought maybe I could offer some advice!
To make chainmaille you need two pairs of pliers, and you typically want to have two pairs of the same pliers to give both of your hands an equal workout. Aside from that, one of the main things to think about when choosing the type of pliers to use is the material you’re going to be using, because that determines whether or not you should use pliers with teeth. I mostly use aluminum, anodized aluminum (which has a colored coating), brass, bronze, and copper. All these metals are fairly soft compared to the steel of the pliers, so I always use pliers without teeth and will sometimes even wrap the jaws of my pliers with tape if I’m worried about scratching things. If I’m working with steel I use pliers with teeth because I don’t have to worry about scratching the rings and because they help me grip the steel rings (which can be really hard to work with) better.
I bought two of these pliers sets from Harbor Freight and use the wide nose pliers for most things, though other pliers in the set come in handy. If you would like to check out a wider selection of pliers, The Ring Lord has a nice selection and really nice descriptions to help you choose which type of pliers you need for a project. (You might want to read their page regardless of if you want to buy anything from them because it’s really informative.) They also seem to sell the pliers that I use under the name “Wide Nose Plier with Ergonomic handle. Blue Buddha Boutique also has a wide selection of pliers to choose from, though their prices tend to run a little higher. If you wanted to buy pliers from them, I would buy some that were “flat nose”.
Aside from these places you could also go to your local hardware store and look for “wide nose”, “flat nose”, or “chain nose” pliers, preferably without teeth. If you can only find pliers with teeth you can wrap the jaws in duct tape or file/grind the teeth off.
You can also check out the Maille Artisans’ International League site for more information about pretty much anything chainmaille related.
TD;DR – I use two pairs of pretty cheap pliers for most things and I bought them as a part of this set from Harbor Freight. I would recommend reading about the different types of pliers on The Ring Lord’s site (where you can also buy pliers). You can also buy pliers from Blue Buddha Boutique or your local hardware store.